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Determining potty-training readiness


I have a 2-year-old who will be 3 at the end of October. He is my third child. I am having a very difficult time potty-training him. He shows no interest in it, and he throws a fit when I put him on the toilet.

Though initially difficult, my first child was trained by 3 to 3 ½ years of age. My second child was very easy. I don’t know what specific steps to take with my youngest. I am concerned because he cannot attend preschool or any fun classes until he is fully trained. 

He also is still attached to his bottle. He is capable of drinking out of a cup, which he does during the day. However, when he naps or goes down for the night he has to have a bottle in order to fall asleep. I once tried to break him of this habit by letting him cry it out. He screamed for two hours until I gave him the bottle. He then fell asleep.

Everyone keeps telling me that this is fine because he is my last one. But I don’t want him to suffer or to be developmentally behind. How can I solve these issues?


This information is included in our Guide to Potty Training. Click here to see the rest of the guide.

The ease with which a parent potty-trains her children varies with each child.  Some toddlers are trained easily; others require great effort. This makes potty-training very frustrating for some parents.

The fact that your son is 2 and is not showing any interest in potty-training is neither surprising nor particularly concerning. When he throws a fit, he is essentially telling you, “Mommy, I am not ready for the potty.”

Potty-training is something that comes at different ages and stages for all children. Many parents start potty-training based on the child’s age, but children have to be emotionally, physically and mentally prepared as well. 

So while it is difficult, try not to compare your son developmentally to your other children because they all develop differently. He’ll get it when he is ready. Be patient with him.

Do not force your son to use the potty. He will start to associate going potty with negative feelings, and you don’t want this to happen. Start small by doing little things like reading potty books, playing with his potty chair or changing his diaper in the bathroom. You can even just talk about the potty but not force him to sit on it if he does not want to. Introduce him to the idea and concept, and eventually when he is ready he will be more willing to give it a try.

Please remember that if you are ever concerned about the development of your child, you can contact your pediatrician. He or she can help with potty- training questions and tell you if your son is ready or not .

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